This interview was taken with Fantasio at the 1998 SAM Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Over the summer I had been interviewing magicians via the Internet and in person. The first person I interviewed in person was Fantasio. He is known internationally as a great sleight of hand manipulator and creator of many (over 500) fine magic products. These products include his famous vanishing(cane, candle)/appearing (cane, candle) canes and candles. He has appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show five times, one of those being the warm up act for the historic Beetles TV performance decades ago.

While busy at his dealer booth, Fantasio was gracious enough to answer a few questions.

Listen to this interview. Running time 4:30. Note: if you hear another interview, switch browsers or clean your cache.

Mini-Wizard: Fantasio, you competed in FISM, what was it like…

Fantasio: There are many acts for magicians in Yokohama, Japan. In 1994, I believe. Right? Yeah. (I won) Second prize in comedy magic, three Germans beat me. (It was) three against one, so okay! (Laughs)

Mini-Wizard: How did you go about putting together the act for such a big competition?

Fantasio: Well it is because I do not want to do my old act anymore. Because I did it for many years, I have many ideas with comedy effects for magicians. I want to make magicians laugh. And then I put all those ideas together and I built a small act, and I went for competition because nobody knew me. They don't want to engage with something they don't know.

Mini-Wizard: I know you have been in magic for a very long time…

Fantasio: Oh yeah. Since 1957.

Mini-Wizard: So you do a lot of manipulation in your act…

Fantasio: Yes, I love it.

Mini-Wizard: Do you have any type of advice for young magicians trying to get into that type of manipulation, or anything you see as downfall on you magicians?

Fantasio: Even if in the future, you don't want to do any manipulation in your act, it is better to learn how to move your fingers because, you can see the way that a magician, who is not a manipulator, hold a glass for example. And you see the way a manipulator holds a glass on stage. He has more grace with the hands.

Mini-Wizard: So it is important to know exactly what you are doing…

Fantasio: I think it is the ABC's of magic, you don't have to be an expert, but at least to know hold to hold a coin, ball, cards, or a thimble or anything between your fingers. I think that everybody should start with manipulation.

Mini-Wizard: And that's your advice for young magicians…

Fantasio: That's my opinion… advice I don't know! Take it or leave it! (Laughs)

Mini-Wizard: Were there any influences you had when you were younger?

Fantasio: Yes, you always you have somebody that show you something you dream about, you know. I saw David Bamberg, Fu Manchu when I was eleven years old. My father took me to the theatre. Fu Manchu was Okito's son with his fantastic illusion show in Argentina. And I saw (it). When I saw him, I said, "I want to be a magician!" I was eleven years old, yeah. Until I was sixteen or seventeen I couldn't get any one to teach me some sleight of hand magic. Mario Lobo, he's dead now, showed me billiard ball manipulation, thimbles, silks, cards. And he gave me some books for practice.

Mini-Wizard: You have also invented a lot of magic…

Fantasio: Well later, yeah. I always liked to build my own props. Inventors, nobody is really an inventor. You have an idea and you take things you know from the past, and maybe you put it together, but nobody is really an inventor.

Mini-Wizard: Thank you for you time Fantasio.

Fantasio: You're welcome.

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